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Carrie2012 08-25-2012 11:41 PM

Post-LEEP Recovery

I had a LEEP procedure done 4 months ago (April 2012). I had a high grade of cell abnormality (CIN III) and the doctor recommended LEEP. I haven’t had a follow-up appointment for a PAP test yet, although it is coming up soon.

My main concern is the length of recovery time that it takes for the body to return back to normal. I have had almost constant discharge of blood throughout the entire 4 months. Recently, I noticed that there is about a week to 10 days of no discharge following my period, and then the spotting (then bleeding) starts up again for about 10 days BEFORE my actual period starts. The bleeding that precedes my period is not heavy at first, just spotting, and then gradually increases in volume as I near the start of my period.

From what I have been reading online though, it seems that the recovery time post LEEP may depend on the grade of cell abnormality that one had prior to the procedure. Given that I had a CIN III – it is reasonable to assume that the doctor had to remove more cell tissue from my cervix than from a patient with less cell abnormality. It seems to be that this has a direct correlation on one’s experience with recovery and the length of time it takes for the body to heal.

While I do tend to think of my situation using the reasoning above, the emotional and physical impact from the recovery are beginning to take their toll on me. I am a single, 26-year old, trying to date in an effort to establish my personal life. Yet, this horrible post-LEEP recovery is seriously affecting my motivation and actual ability of doing so. As a result, I am starting to feel depressed... A couple of times that I did have intercourse (during those times when I seemingly had no discharge or bleeding and thought I was healed), the penetration caused me to start spotting/bleeding again.

I know my post was mostly rambling, but I just felt the need to vent.

Any comments or feedback from someone having a similar experience would be appreciated!

Thank you for reading and I wish anyone having had LEEP a speedy recovery! ;)

SandyMN 08-26-2012 06:19 AM

Re: Post-LEEP Recovery
I had a LEEP 9 years ago and a cone biopsy recently. I know that for either procedure my gyn likes to do an exam at 4-6 weeks post to clear you to resume normal activities, including sex. Maybe you should schedule a "look and see" exam to make everything is healing properly even before your follow up pap....good luck!

soleil15 09-15-2012 10:49 AM

Re: Post-LEEP Recovery
I have had a similar experience. I had my LEEP done in May of this year (I was moderate grade) and it seemed to have healed within the time frame but I did notice that I had bleeding twice a month instead of just once. I thought maybe it was my hormones because my cycle has never been regular. But then in August I started bleeding on the 10 it went away 4 days later and then started bleeding again on the 23 and hasn't stopped since. I have noticed as well that I will bleed after sex or when there is pressure applied to my pelvic area. Not right away but a day or two later I will start bleeding and it'll last for about a week. It is very frustrating and makes me stress. I have had other health issues come up as well that don't have to do with the LEEP so this is just causing me to freak out even more. I wish the doctor would have mentioned this to me. He just said there would be bleeding for about a month but that it would go away. I hope this doesn't mean there is something wrong. I do go back at the end of this month for a follow up colposcopy so hopefully something can be done. It is very frustrating. At least now I know it is not just me and it appears to be normal but it is still worrisome.

Carrie2012 09-18-2012 09:17 PM

Re: Post-LEEP Recovery
Hi soleil15, I hear ya... My personal health situation remains unchanged since my first post here on Aug 26, 2012. This is month #5 since my LEEP procedure and I basically bleed for 2/3 of every month (!!!).

It is very depressing for sure...:S

However, the discussion that I read on this page ( gave me hope, especially the very last post. :-)

Btw, I waited for the recommended 6 weeks following LEEP to begin sexual activity again, and also experienced spotting after intercourse. :(

Let's hope this situation is temporary though and that it will not be like this forever. Healing takes time, for some more time than for others, which means that we must be patient.

Best of luck to you in your full recovery!

soleil15 09-19-2012 06:30 PM

Re: Post-LEEP Recovery
Thank you for the link to that other thread Carrie2012. That did give me hope that this bleeding will soon stop. Thank you and best of luck to you as well! My follow up colposcopy is next week so I am a little anxious. Hopefully everything is good.

soleil15 09-28-2012 01:31 PM

Re: Post-LEEP Recovery
I went to my doctor yesterday for my post LEEP check up and he said everything looked good. I mentioned to him about the bleeding and he said the LEEP is not supposed to cause any post Leep bleeding that if you are bleeding it has to do with something else. He did a pelvic exam and it seems that I have a cyst in my right ovary which is causing the bleeding. I have to go back and get an ultra sound but I just thought I'd share with you what he said about the bleeding. He is an older doctor so I assume he has years of experience and knows what he is talking about. Hope things on your part are better. He did prescribe Provera for me and the bleeding seems to be ending.

KoroniSarah 12-11-2012 03:16 AM

Re: Post-LEEP Recovery
Hi Carrie,

Ive been experiencing exactly the same thing as you describe in your post. I had LEEP treatment at the end of June this year and the bleeding has been driving me mad! Every period is extended by brown spotting and discharge and every time I have intercourse I bleed and have brown blood for days afterwards. After visiting my GP several times and being fobbed off and told it should stop soon I finally stamped my feet and demanded an appointment with the consultant to have a repeat colposcopy to see what is going on. I went for the colposcopy 2 days ago and was told I have cervical ectropian in the area that was treated. I was told its harmless however its when instead of new skin growing in the area that was cut out muscuc producing cells grow back there which are usually found much further up where the cervix narrows. The mucus producing cells are very fragile and bleed easily when irritated. They are irritated more when there is a rise in oestrogen in the body. The consultant said that it is easily treated by using cold coagulation to 'burn' the area again to allow the skin a chance to grow back 'normally' again. The best advice I can give you is to demand to see and expert in the field as general doctors seem to have limited knowledge and sympathy about the problems described! Hugs to you and try not to worry, I know how u feel its horrible and I spent many nights lying awake thinking of all the worse case scenarios!

soleil15 12-11-2012 04:27 AM

Re: Post-LEEP Recovery
Sorry to hear about your experience. The doctor figured out why I was bleeding. It was due to ovarian cysts (I have PCOS). I was put on medication and it has stopped bleeding. Glad to hear you found a solution as well. It's very scary when this happens.

Carrie2012 01-11-2013 07:00 PM

Re: Post-LEEP Recovery
Thank you to you both: soleil15 and KoroniSarah for your honest and detailed posts!!!

I have been MIA for a while, but I came back to the thread this week and was very happy to know not only that I am not alone, but also that the symptoms we share can be resolved with a proper diagnosis.

However, for now, my personal situation remains unchanged. I had my first follow-up Pap test done after LEEP in November 5, 2012. The doctor examined the area with a colposcope and reassured me that the disease (dysplasia) is gone and everything looks healthy. I told him that I continue having these extra 7-10 days of spotting/discharge/bleeding every month in addition to my regular period (it was 6 months following my LEEP at that point). He proceeded to cauterize "the area" and said that this should make the extra discharge/bleeding go away (This is what I think KoroniSarah has referred to as cold coagulation). It did not stop the extra discharge/bleeding however.

I went back to see him again, and again, he reassured me that I am "healthy" and he does not want to cauterize anything more as he is afraid to cause damage. He told me to come see him next time when I get the discharge, so that he can take a closer look.

I saw him this week and he now thinks that my hormones are causing the extra bleeding. He prescribed me the birth control pill and said to take it for 3 months and then go back to see him. The Pill should, according to him, help control the bleeding.

On the one hand, I am happy that he now seems to have identified the possible cause, but on the other hand, I am concerned with the whole "hormonal imbalance" issue. What caused this hormonal imbalance? I have always had pretty regular periods, until LEEP. The doc reassures however that LEEP does not cause the extra bleeding that I suffer from.

Anyways, I continue to be very stressed about this. What if I start the birth control pill and it does help, what happens once I come off it? Does this discharge and the bleeding return?

It seems that I always end up with more questions than answers...

PS.: The funny thing now is that I was supposed to start my period 1-2 days ago, as I have been experiencing dark brownish discharge for the past 7 days and am due to start. Yet, instead of the discharge gradually growing in volume and my period starting, it has now almost gone away. I hardly have any discharge AND no period! I don't know WHAT is going on!!! All I do know, it that I am very, very stressed about this right now. It's affecting me on both levels: physical and emotional. I also find it hard to do anything else, but research the Internet and read other people's information on this. :-( Talk about disruptive!!!

I also wonder if any of you are experiencing feelings of self-blame/guilt over getting this high risk strain of HPV in the first place. I feel sometimes like this is a punishment for my poor judgement calls in the past and can't help but feel responsible...:-(

soleil15 01-11-2013 11:36 PM

Re: Post-LEEP Recovery
I know exactly what you mean about feeling guilt and feeling like it is a punishment for poor judgement. I feel the exact same way most of the time.

I am glad to hear that your doctor seems to have pin pointed the problem.

Birth control pills can be tricky. I have been on/off bc for several years and have tried different brands. There have been times where I have gotten off of them and I am regular but there are times where I've gotten off them and I am irregular automatically. I suppose it depends on what exactly your health issue is. I know hormonal issues can be caused because of stress. Perhaps the HPV/LEEP issue has been very stressful on you and is causing your hormones to become crazy.

I wasn't on bc when I had my LEEP done so it didn't even cross my mind that the bleeding could've been due to my PCOS/hormones until my doctor said it felt like I had a cyst.

I would suggest asking your doctor a lot of questions when you go back to see him. I've started making a list now each time I have doctors appointments so I can be sure I ask everything I want to know and talk to my doctor about everything that is on my mind.

Hope everything goes well for you Carrie!

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